Coronavirus changes world of sports recruiting

Adjustments needed because of shifting schedules for high school sports


Coronavirus has impacted Colorado sports — high school, college and professional — and the future is also uncertain.

Recruiting of high school athletes has to be adjusted since the Colorado High School Activities Association divided its sports into four seven-week seasons, with traditional fall sports of football, boys soccer, gymnastics and field hockey being moved to spring.

College coaches are challenged and have had to go online to virtual visit with potential. High school athletes have to be diligent about sending films to colleges.

Boys golf, boys tennis, softball and cross country are currently being played in what is called Season A in the latest CHSAA release. Season B will run from early January to March and includes basketball, girls swimming, spirit and wrestling.

Season C will be contested between March 1 and May with boys soccer, unified bowling, girls volleyball, football, baseball, girls golf, girls soccer and boys and girls lacrosse being played.

Baseball, girls golf, lacrosse, girls soccer and track and field will be held in Season D from late April to late June.

Doug Nisenson, football coach at ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch, says the NCAA needs to alter the national signing dates after the football season was moved.

The early signing date for Division I football is currently on Dec. 16, 2020 with the regular signing period on Feb. 2, 2021. Division I men's basketball signing period ends May 19, 2010 and all other sports on Aug. 1, 2021.

“Right now our coaches are waiting to hear what the NCAA changes are going to be,” said Nisenson. “If the NCAA doesn't move signing day we're going to play our season after signing day.

“It is obviously going to impact recruiting from the standpoint if colleges are potentially interested in a kid and we want to see his senior films, unless they are interested enough that we aren't going to get senior film and offer him then there's the high probability they are going to miss out on that.”

The recruiting impact will be felt more by the mid-level players rather that the highly regarded prospects.

“Obviously if you are kid that is hoping to get a little scholarship money to go to a smaller school and play DII football or get an academic scholarship and play DIII football, if you didn't have tape as a junior that's going to be really difficult unless the signing date is moved and coaches are given that time to evaluate, watch tape, go to games and do all the things that they would normally do,” said Nisenson.

Doug Schafer, girls volleyball coach at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, said colleges and players have to make adjustments without camps hosted by colleges and national tournaments which attract many recruiters.

“The colleges have to make adjustments by having to rely more on tape,” he said. “The players have to adjust by being more specific with their tape and having it be a little more important and also do the best they can to be seen in the spring when there are going to be some national tournaments.”

Arapahoe boys and girls soccer coach Mark Hampshire termed the whole situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic as “frustrating, disappointing and sad.”

“Not being able to play high school sports in a timely matter will have an impact,” he continued.


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